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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Wat Plai Laem, Royally sponsored cremation ceremony of Prakru Suntinonthakhun, the cremation

Wat Plai Laem, Royally sponsored cremation ceremony of Prakru Suntinonthakhun, the cremation

Just before 8pm we walked on to the Wat Plai Laem premises, to avoid endless prayers and speeches, just like this afternoon during the day time ceremony but to witness the actual cremation of Prakru Suntinonthakhun!
After entering from a different Temple gate, it didn't take long before I took up my old afternoon position which granted me a near perfect view of the proceedings.

A different angle to the cremation site.

The cremation sight in full glory. There was still a staccato prayer going on when I took up my position again.

The crematorium

As pictured above, an apparent hand made crematorium that to my big surprise was put on fire by a rocket that screeched a good ten meters through the air before lodging itself exactly in the right position under the bottom of the crematorium, where the wood is located and thus setting it alight. Amazing!

Within moments smoke is in the air

Prakru Suntinonthakhun's body has been embalmed a year ago, when he passed away and his body has also been refrigerated for the whole year, so one can imagine how healthy the smoke coming out of the pipe may be, rather toxic I'm afraid. Nonetheless, local guys were poking in the fire and standing next to the exhaust.

The site in full swing

The fire will keep burning all night long until all of Prakru Suntinonthakhun's body will be cremated.

Here's a video I shot of part of the cremation, all the time during the first 15 minutes of the actual cremation fireworks in various places went off causing a very interesting scene! Beware, the video is only a minute and a half long!

It was a very interesting and impressive experience and event and I appreciate that I could witness this aspect of Thai and Buddhist culture.

Camille

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